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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



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Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:22PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Shelby Series 1

With the recent passing of one of this writer's personal heroes, we thought it was time to take a look back on one of Carroll Shelby's greatest creations. Although it was only built for one model year, the Shelby Series 1 may be one of the most underrated sports cars of all time.  

The Series 1 was the first car that Carroll Shelby created from scratch. Really? Yes, really. Think it over -- all of the other cars Shelby is known for were already in production: the Cobra was originally an A/C Ace, the GT350 and GT500 were Mustangs, even the Dodge GLH was an Omni before it became one of the first pocket-rockets. The Series 1 however, was nothing before it came into existence  It was an idea, at best and then became one of the crown jewels in the king's garage.


Dogged Dallas-Man Finds Stolen Car, 42 Years Later

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 1:39PM | By: Chris Salamone


Robert & Cynthia Russell

This one’s for the record books. After almost 42 years of grim pursuit, Dallas resident Robert Russell finally located his stolen 1967 Austin Healey 3000 – which was originally taken from his Philadelphia apartment in 1970. And, most humorously, Russell actually spotted the car on an eBay auction.

“Ever since eBay showed up, I’d check it periodically,” Russell said to The Dallas Morning News. “I checked it on Friday May 11, and there it was.”

That’s what we call persistence.


Jeep Asks: What Is 'Freedom Of The Open Road'?

On: Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:23AM | By: Chris Salamone


Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition

Ok, we all love free money. And, following closely behind, we all greatly enjoy free gift cards. In the spirit of our Nation’s most red, white, and blue holiday Jeep has officially issued a Freedom of the Open Road Contest & Sweepstakes.

As far as we’re concerned that long list of descriptors adds up to a $500 gift card to REI or 30 randomly awarded $25 iTunes gift cards to participants which answer the following question: what does ‘Freedom of the Open Road’ mean to you.

Only the three grand champions of the contest get the REI shopping spree. So unless you’re merely reaching for a few iTunes hits, pop on those wordsmithing caps, shed a few tears, and find your inner wanderlust, because nothing gets auto journos more excitable than glorifications of our favorite past time.


Classic Car Cultist: Buick Grand National GNX

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone


Buick Grand National GNX

From 1978 to 1987, Buick produced a series of rear-wheel drive ‘luxury’ coupes and sedans, fondly remembered as the Regal and later Grand National models. In conjunction with a series of NASCAR victories in the Manufacturers Cups of 1981 and 1982, Buick decided to bump the company’s performance aspirations to the next level. The Grand National was born.

But not until the Grand National’s last year of production, 1987, did Buick manifest the vehicle’s full potential – in a performance-oriented GNX. For twice the cost of admission relative to a standard Grand National, the GNX entranced a mere 547 buyers for the then-staggering sum of $29,900.

Today, the GNX’s reputation has grown. What was once seen as the flagship of the bygone muscle car era is now viewed as the last bastion of American automotive glory. The 1987 Buick Grand National GNX is the car which stood on the precipice of change and laughed in the face of environmental consciousness, practicality, and – of course – vehicular impotence.


 

NPR's 'Car Talk' To Fade Away

On: Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 10:21AM | By: Chris Salamone


Ray and Tom Magliozzi

NPR’s communications department just unleashed a media blitz with an announcement which car enthusiasts have long dreaded, the day when public radio would have two fewer comedian mechanics. For the past 35 years Tom and Ray Magliozzi have recorded Car Talk at WBUR in Boston. But, as of this fall, listeners will have rely on re-produced reruns from Car Talk archives which stretch back through 25 years – while the show operated through NPR.

All is not lost, however. The brothers Magliozzi will continue to write their bi-weekly column called Dear Tom and Ray, remain active on the web and Facebook, and plan to contribute occasional updates to NPR’s October season of Car Talk.


Freedom Ain't Free, Says Dodge

On: Fri, May 18, 2012 at 9:55AM | By: Chris Salamone


Dodge's Military Might

All of the history buffs who peruse vintagecartalk.com might need a tissue for this one – tears and/or drool could be a problem. It’s no secret that Dodge vehicles have played a substantial role in the various war efforts of American history. Unfortunately, though, we tend to forget how much Dodge has contributed to our peace and prosperity at home. From jobs, to technology, to cars, and military components, Dodge has left a lasting legacy of patriotic support. And in some cases, that support came without the expectation of profit.

In tribute to our nation’s past and Memorial Day, Dodge has decided to post a two part retrospective, titled Dodge’s Military Might. Behold the successes of the brothers Dodge!


The Evolution Of The SRT Viper (Video)

On: Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss


The Evolution Of The SRT Viper

No matter how many times I write it, I still can't get used to it: SRT Viper. Thankfully, Chrysler takes us back to a simpler time when the Viper still enjoyed a comfy home at Dodge. A new video gives viewers an historic look at the flagship sports car.

Those that don't know much about the Viper may be surprised to note that it was the brainchild of two iconic American auto minds that are now more closely associated with the other two members of the Detroit Big 3. Bob Lutz, most recently known for his role as GM vice chairman, and Carroll Shelby, whose name is closely associated with high-end Ford Mustangs, were the driving forces behind the Viper back in the late 80s. They set out to build a throwback, 60s-style muscle car - similar to Shelby's own Cobra, only with modern technology. The concept version of the Viper debuted at the 1989 North American International Auto Show.


Next-Gen Mustang May Ditch Retro Look

On: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 10:41AM | By: Chris Salamone


Ford Evos Concept

Just yesterday Michael Ramsey of The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article regarding the future of Ford’s ultimate pony car. Instead of continuing the retro trend, Ramsey speculated that Ford would dramatically shift the direction of the Mustang brand. Citing “people familiar with Ford’s plans,” the article fervently declared that the next-generation Ford Mustang will likely retain a few currently recognizable features – shark-nosed grille and roundish headlights – but will ultimately look more like the current Ford Fusion over our beloved, but aging Mustang.

The change in focus has everything to do with Generation Y buyers – born 1980 to 1990. Gen Y is just entering the car buying arena and Ford wants Mustang to remain relevant. Apparently cars channeling the bygone era of sex, drugs, and rock & roll are considered less sellable to the emerging youth-buyer market.


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts Of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 4:38PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Honda S2000

When you think of classic sports cars that have been sold throughout the US over the years, there are a few cars that come to mind -- certainly the venerable Corvette and the Porsche 911 take the lion's share of the credit (and deservedly so), but what others? Maybe a car like the Mazda Miata which has been going strong for more than twenty years, or more recently cars like the Porsche Boxster or even a Lotus or two might spring to mind. But more often than not, one of the most impressive traditional sports cars to ever grace a showroom in America gets almost no credit whatsoever: The Honda S2000.

Yes, the S2000! It was an easy car to overlook in the annals of automotive history. In a way, the S2K was a victim of its own successful design. Don't believe it? Well, let's see just how much you might have known about the high-revving Honda.


"World's First And Only Mexican Beaded VW" Visits U.S. (It's Better Than It Sounds)

On: Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:30PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Photoillustration by Author

On the first leg of its tour of North America and Europe, “Vochol”—the world's “first and only Volkswagen decorated with beads by Mexican Huichol Indians”—can be seen now through May 6 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Now before you go and dismiss this as a “hippie”-style psychedelic custom VW, let’s look at the facts: all of the intricate, multicolored everything you see on the surface of this 1990 VW Beetle (yes, I meant 1990) has been done—by hand—with “more than 2 million glass seed beads and nearly 35 pounds of fabric, paint, yarn and resin.”

Yep, "two families of Huíchol artisans [eight persons total] devoted more than 9,000 hours” to create Vochol, a name derived from a combination of “vochol”, a popular term for VW Beetles in Mexico, and “Huichol”, the common name of the Wirrárika indigenous group.

But this project is more than 233 lbs. of beadwork slapped on a Bug. And—unlike any groovy, 1960s-era painted version—this one’s important enough to be in the Smithsonian.


No foolin': OPGI's 30th Anniversary Car Show Set For April 1st

On: Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 3:13PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Photoillustration by Author

If you’re the owner of a “classic” GM car you’re probably familiar with Original Parts Group Inc. and their comprehensive catalogs. We’re talking about models like the Chevelle, El Camino, Cutlass, Skylark, GTO, Monte Carlo, Riviera and even 1954 through 1976 Cadillacs.

[Unfortunately, they have no apparent love—or parts—for my ’89 Olds Custom Cruiser. What’s up with that?]

Anyhoo, on April 1, in celebration of the firm’s 30th year of operation, they are hosting a classic car show at their Seal Beach, Calif., headquarters. Free and open to all, it is certain to feature many of the finest examples of each vehicle line I’ve mentioned, not including—so far as I know—any Custom Cruisers.

Still, it sounds like a heck of an event. But you don’t have to take just MY word(s) for it…